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Boston, Mass. (October 18, 2023) – The Autumn 2023 issue of UU World, the magazine of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA), focuses on the stories and voices of the Unitarian Universalist faithful and highlights how Unitarian Universalists (UU) across the country are living out their faith, principles, and values during challenging times. The publication, which hits newsstands in the coming weeks, is also available online.
An interview with the UUA’s president, the Rev. Dr. Sofía Betancourt, newly-elected to the position in June, is also featured in the Autumn 2023 edition. She is both the first out queer individual and the first woman of color elected to the role of UUA President in the Association’s history.
UU World shares the faith journeys of today’s UUs, including Rev. Chris Long, minister of congregational life at the Unitarian Church of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. “For me, the power of my UU faith rests not only in what it teaches me about working to build more of the Beloved Community within and well beyond my life’s calling—it also asks that I work and live in the spirit of transformative love,” Long writes.
At the same time, the magazines interviews Rev. Dr. Sheri Prud’homme, assistant professor of religion and education at Starr King School for the Ministry in Oakland, California, on why UU congregations are attracting congregants during a period where a number of denominations are reporting declines in membership. Additionally, the issue highlights how UU congregations and individuals are pushing back on injustice and supporting BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ communities, especially trans individuals, women, and people with disabilities.
UU World’s Autumn 2023 issue is the first under the tenure of UUA President Rev. Dr. Sofía Betancourt. She writes of why it is so important for UUs to share their stories with each other and the world. “As a community we have long relied on life experience to guide us in our religious explorations, saving us from ‘living an unexamined faith’ as our Unitarian theologian James Luther Adams regularly cautioned against. This key teaching from our common theological inheritance centers the value of faithful stories, most particularly when shared in Beloved Community,” she says.
Rev. Dr. Betancourt also lays out what she hopes to accomplish during her six-year presidency in a Q&A with the magazine's editors. “I would like to look back six years from now and find UUs with a deepened commitment to living our values and being able to express those values in language that’s expansive, specific, and non-exclusionary, and leaves room for their Beloveds in community,” she says.
The UUA’s Director of Communications, Lisa Gregory, acted as Guest Editor of the Autumn 2023 issue, providing both conceptual and editorial leadership. She co-edited the edition with Kristen Cox Roby, who became UU World’s executive editor in June 2023. Roby is an award-winning journalist with more than 20 years of editing and writing experience. Before becoming executive editor, she spent sixteen years with the USA TODAY Network in a variety of roles, most recently as a regional storytelling editor and project manager shaping high-level enterprise journalism.
UU World celebrates liberal religion and the people it inspires. The magazine descends from a long line of Unitarian and Universalist publications going back two centuries: Universalist Magazine was founded in 1819 and the Unitarian Christian Register in 1821.
About the UUA
The UUA is the central organization for the Unitarian Universalist (UU) religious movement in the United States. Our faith is diverse and inclusive and the UUA’s 1000+ member congregations are committed to Seven Principles that hold closely the worth and dignity of each person as sacred, the need for justice and compassion, the right of conscience, and respect for the interdependent nature of all existence.